We're a startup building low cost robots to pick strawberries for large commercial growers. Our team already has the robotics expertise and software engineering skills to make this project a success. We are now looking for a freelancer with experience in designing custom parts and getting them manufactured for prototyping and small series to help us bringing our robot to life.
Ultimately, we'd like you to work on the design of the robotic arm, as well as the mobile base of the robot.
But we're going to start with a smaller project: The goal is to design the strawberry gripper so that we can get it manufactured and evaluate its performances in the real world. Have a look at the attached files.
The idea is to build a hand-operated gripper in the shape and size of nail scissors. Unlike normal nail scissors, it should also have some pliers. When closing the scissors on the stem of a strawberry, the plier part of the gripper should grasp the stem just before the scissors cut it.
The pliers and scissors can look similarly as to what you can find on Swiss army knives.
So, here is how one would pick a strawberry:
1. take the gripper into one's hand
2. approach the stem of a strawberry
3. the gripper must be oriented in such a way that the plier part is closer to the fruit than the scissors part
4. close the gripper, as you'd do using scissors
5. bring the gripper back, while keeping it closed
We'd like the design to be done using Autodesk Fusion 360, but we're open to any other free alternative. If you'd like to use something else though, please discuss it before.
The ideal candidate will have:
* Proven experience with CAD tools such as Autodesk Fusion 360 or Inventor
* Proven experience in manufacturing of prototypes and/or small series
* Keep final cost in mind at all times: Recommend using off-the-shelf components whenever available
* Knowledge of how machining works to optimize the design for lower manufacturing costs
* Knowledge of pros and cons of various plastics and metals, as well as finishing options